With the mutually beneficial relationship between small businesses and local communities, it would be a shame if you don’t promote your venture right in your backyard. Even if you can do well online, you will still miss out on some potential sales and growth if you don’t take advantage of what your locale can offer.
This is why it’s crucial for small businesses to learn local SEO techniques to establish their presence within a community. Since the internet is now the handiest tool to find the stuff people need, making use of search engine algorithms will help people find you more easily, especially when they’re in your locale.
With the right tricks, you can let your business become one of those go-to places for what you’re offering. If your line of work is unique, achieving such status can definitely boost your sales.
How do you boost your local SEO presence, you might be wondering? Here are some proven-effective techniques that you can try:
Use the best keywords for your location.
The right keywords can take your business to the next level so you have to be very wise and strategic in their use. In this case, you should make sure to be very specific so you can quickly attract the locals who are searching for what you offer in your area.
Odds are, the more specific your keywords are, the less competition you might have. This makes it imperative that you look for the best keywords that will help you effectively target your local audience.
How can you choose the right keywords to effectively optimize local searches? Here are a few tricks:
1. Include different terms that are commonly used in your area.
Aside from including the name of your city and neighborhood in your general SEO terms, you can also add in the most popular nicknames for your area. Doing this won’t just help you reach more people but it can also showcase how much you know about your locale.
2. Use local jargon, slang, or vernacular if you can.
Aside from the nicknames, you might also want to try using the local lingo in establishing your business’ local presence. This will really help you target local searches done by actual residents of your area.
3. Add your area code.
Some people also use area codes when they want to make a very specialized online search so you might want to take advantage of this search as well.
Include your location keywords all over your website.
This should be an expected tip but it’s still worth mentioning because some people tend to skip it. If you really want to establish your location online, you should make sure that you include it all over your website. It should be included in meta descriptions, URLs, heading tags, anchor texts, and even caption texts when relevant.
By doing this, you’ll be able to help search engines in properly indexing your website when they crawl it. Such details will help you further establish where your business is located.
Make use of Google My Business.
Some people use Google Maps to find the services and businesses that they need, especially while they’re on the go. This is why it’s crucial to make sure that your business will turn up in that service.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to add your business in there. The basics are the following:
- Log into your Google account. If you have one for your business, it would be better to use that.
- Visit Google Maps then look up your business’ location.
- Right click on the exact spot where your base of operations is then select ‘Add your business’ from the options.
- You’ll be redirected to the Google My Business page where you’ll be asked to enter the details of your business. Do so as accurately as you can and make sure to complete the forms.
- Verify your location. This will further help establish the legitimacy of your business, so make sure to take this step. It’s very easy as there are several options available. You can verify through mail, phone, email, or even through the Search Console. The last one offers instant verification, so it’s a great option. It’s not available for all businesses, though, so you might want to consider other options as well.
Don’t ignore other search engines.
Google indexing is always a good idea since it is very widely used in most parts of the world. However, it’s not the only search engine that people use. So if you want to further establish your small business online, you’ll want to make sure that other search engine users will also find you.
So aside from Google, you should also list your business on other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, DogPile, Ask, and Yippy among many others. Bing also has its own maps service, so you should also add your business there. The process is somewhat similar to Google’s, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Get listed in local directories.
Aside from the search engines and mapping sites, there are other sites that are designed to work as local directories. They function like the Yellow Pages of old where you’re supposed to find the contact information of the businesses that you wish to work with.
Some of the best local directories that you can find are made by the Chamber of Commerce of your city or province. However, there are other area-focused websites that offer the same thing. You can also find forum websites with local business sections.
You can take advantage of such but you should also be very discerning of where to list your small business. Avoid the ones that look spammy as they might be blacklisted by search engines. This will affect your credibility, so it’s best to skip them.
Stick with reputable websites and the ones with good traffic. With these sites, you can actually get something out of your efforts.
Get featured in the local websites, blogs, and other online hubs.
It will also be great if your business can get featured on area-focused websites. These sites already have a local audience so they can provide the visibility you need to the right market.
What kind of feature should you gun for? Articles about your small business will be ideal but even inclusions in roundup articles would also be great. Make sure to include your business address and contact details in these features, though, to make sure that you’ll get the exposure you need.
If you can’t get a feature, you can also try to have a press release or a guest post published. If you have the funds for it, you can also opt for an advertisement or sponsorship. Whichever the case is, your goal should be to publish a backlink or get your address and contact details included in their websites. This will further help you boost your brand’s visibility and recognition locally.
What are the kinds of websites that you should try to reach? Here are a few examples:
- Local newspaper websites
- Local government agency websites
- Local blogs
- Local forum websites
Add your location in your social media.
This might sound like a no-brainer but it’s so important that it bears repeating. You should never forget to add your address in your social media accounts. Most sites will let you add your complete address but if you can’t, you should still add your city into your business’ bio at the very least.
Whip up locally-optimized content.
It has been said before and will always remain true: content is king. So if you want to really want to ensure the effectiveness of your local SEO efforts, you should also optimize your content according to your location.
To do this, make sure to create content that mentions and talks about your area. This will further help search engines place you in the right spot. Combined with the right keywords, you can also further target your market effectively.
This task may seem daunting at first but being a local, you’re sure to find a lot of things to say about your area. With some creativity, you’re sure to find lots of topics to talk about that relates to what your business is offering and your locale.
Make your website mobile-friendly.
A few years back, it has been announced that Google tweaked its algorithms to prioritize mobile-friendly websites over others. So if you want your small business to be more available to locals, it would also help if your website is mobile friendly.
How? This tweak will help you better streamline your efforts for local searches. In combination with local keywords in your list of SEO terms, creating a mobile-friendly site can further boost your rankings for local searches. It’s not the most obvious way to boost your local SEO but it can still work.
Combine all of these tips with the many other tried and tested SEO techniques and you can be sure that you’ll be able to establish the presence of your small business online. Be patient, though, as results aren’t always instantaneous. Just make sure to take the right measures and you can expect the results you want in the end.